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Anne Heche’s death: Terrifying details revealed in firefighter’s radio recording – National

Radio recordings obtained by the Los Angeles Fire Department reveal macabre details about the rescue of actress Anne Heche after she crashed her Mini Cooper into a house on August 5, setting it on fire. a hell.

Heche, 53, died of smoke inhalation and burns, according to the coroner’s report, which attributed her death to an accident. Heche was in a coma for a week before being declared brain dead and not on life support on August 14 after a compatible organ recipient was found.

Records obtained by NBC Los Angeles reveal that firefighters at the scene of the crash were initially confused about whether someone in the vehicle needed rescuing. Timestamp recordings show it took Heche more than 45 minutes to be rescued from her burning car.

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It took firefighters at least 20 minutes to reach Heche’s car and determine someone was inside, and at least another 20 minutes to pull the vehicle out of the burning building to rescue her, records show. see.

“Given the thick smoke, it’s not that you can see the vehicle clearly or reach it,” said Deputy Fire Chief Richard Fields. told NBC Los Angeles.

Fields said it was “very difficult for us to see each other inside an active structural fire.”

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Timeline of events

According to the fire department, Heche crashed his car into a home in Mar Vista, Los Angeles at around 10:56 a.m. The first fire truck arrived on the scene at 11:01 a.m., records show.

Within seconds, dispatchers relayed a report that someone was trapped in a vehicle in the burning house.

“There was a person trapped inside the vehicle,” the dispatcher said, according to recordings from the fire department’s radio station.

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When paramedics arrived, firefighters at the scene instructed them to treat a woman they had found in the home. Fields told NBC Los Angeles that the patient turned out to be a resident of the home, not the driver of the car.

At 11:18 a.m., a firefighter radioed that no one else was in the burning house.

“We have no patients at the moment,” the firefighter said, according to the recordings.

After four minutes of radio talk between the firefighters inside, one of the incident commanders questioned the driver again.

“Let me clarify this – so you have a patient in the car?” incident commander said at 11:22 am

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At 11:25 a.m., a firefighter said through an oxygen mask that the driver had been found.

“We have identified one patient, which is inaccessible at this time. He was pushed onto the floorboards! ” said the fireman.

Fields told NBC Los Angeles that Heche was difficult to spot in the car because she had collapsed under the front row of seats.

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“I would say the place where the person is in the car is not in the driver’s seat, but on the floorboards of the passenger seat,” he said.

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When the fire brigade confirmed Heche was alive, they used a heavy tow truck to pull the vehicle out of hell, with Heche still inside. Records show she was removed from the car at around 11:49 a.m.

“We have a patient in the car, being examined, about to be loaded onto a train for transport,” said one firefighter.

Heche was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for treatment before being transported to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital for intensive care. She never regained consciousness from her coma and her death certificate states that she died on August 11.

The Los Angeles coroner’s office said a full autopsy report on Heche’s death was still being completed.

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Firefighters did their best

Firefighters say they won’t be able to reach Heche any faster even if there’s no confusion about whether someone needs help.

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NBC Los Angeles reported that a post-action presentation prepared for fire department personnel showed that it took 30 minutes to put out the fire to the point that a rescue was possible. So even if Heche’s presence were immediately confirmed, the firefighters would probably not have reacted differently.

“I can imagine that, just based on some very experienced officers who started the gunfight, that they went to great lengths to try to determine that someone was in the vehicle,” he said. Fields said.

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“Our firefighters did everything,” he said.

Spokespersons for Heche and her son Homer Laffoon both declined to comment on the situation.

Heche, who plays the main character in the movie Donnie Brasco, Wag the Dog and I know what you did last summer, was part of a breakthrough same-sex couple in the 1990s when she dated comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres. Against her studio’s wishes, Heche made a public appearance at the red carpet premiere of the 1997 disaster film. Volcano, take DeGeneres as a date.

The couple were together for more than three years before Heche ended the relationship.

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Heche was a 1991 Daytime Emmy Award winner for her role as identical twin sisters on the NBC soap opera Another world. Heche also starred in the 1998 comedy adventure Six days and seven nights with Harrison Ford and co-starred with Demi Moore and Cher in the HBO TV series If these walls could talk.

Later in her career, Heche starred as a senior member of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the NBC drama series. Brave and appeared on the competition show Dancing with the stars by the end of 2020.

– with files from Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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